Seva - love for love's sake
To those who have not had the opportunity to immerse themselves in sanskrit or study the teachings of yoga, the language may appear quite foreign & the concepts abstract. Today it is my pleasure to share an essential practice of yogic living with you, one that will enrich your life and the lives of those around you. The simple yet powerful teaching of seva; something that is deeply instilled in the yogic consciousness and was passed down to me from my teachers.
Quite simply put, seva means service - the kind that is done without the expectation of a reward. The literal translation of seva is devotional work and to those for which yoga is a part of their religion, it is a service to the divine personality - the supreme being. In Vedic theology, Paramatman: the super soul & primordial self, lives within all of us. Devotional work is one way to access the divine within ourselves while honouring & acknowledging it within everyone else.
For myself, seva becomes a more spiritual rather than a religious concept, one in which we express our true nature which is generous and joyful. This energy is inherent in every living being and seva is a service in which we align our energies with those of divine consciousness. To serve wholeheartedly for the benefit of others and not ourselves. It is a selfless service in which we do the work that needs to be done, regardless of whether or not it is something we would want or like to be doing.
At Krishna Village centre for yogic studies, seva is a part of daily life. We offer our time and service to the various tasks that need to be done in order to keep the community functioning and thriving, working for the benefit of the village as a whole. This comes out in the form of planting & maintaining the gardens that sustain us, preparing meals that nourish us, and keeping the environment clean & conducive to a healthy mental state.
To start each day, we come together to connect and allot the daily tasks to the various teams of volunteers & yoga teacher trainees, but the sentiment of seva exists outside of yogic communities as well.
Seva is a powerful manifestation of love for one another, this devotional service lives in the homes of everyday people, in our workplaces, in the mindful conduct of our every day mundane activities. Seva lives in the heart of the mothers & fathers who sacrifice their passions in order to provide for us, in the brothers and sisters who take up the responsibility of raising us. The friends and co-workers that go out of their way to help us all while knowing that we are in no state to return the favour. When we perform these actions with a true & humble heart we begin our path towards living in yoga - in union. Experiencing the oneness within everything through the practice of love & devotion.